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Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by jparkin48, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. jparkin48


    Nov 22, 2009
    greenville, nc
    what is the proper length for a sound post for a 1940 kay bass? how does one go about fitting the sound post to the top and back of the instrument? i can tell where the sound post goes by the markings on the top and back. how tight does the sound post need to be? thanks
  2. Maxvla


    Nov 1, 2010
    Oklahoma City
    Oklahoma Strings
    This is really a job for a trained luthier. It shouldn't be too expensive, and won't take long. It's not worth the hassle of trying it yourself.
  3. Cody Sisk

    Cody Sisk

    Jan 26, 2009
    Lilburn, GA
    Ronald Sachs Violins
    If a universal answer to that question existed and I were to discover it, I'd be a millionaire..

    Cutting a soundpost takes time, patience, experience, blood, sweat, tears, and sometimes several dowels of spruce to get right. Even those of us who do it for a living sometimes have a hard time with this task..
  4. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
  5. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    +1 again.
  6. I reckon that a good luthier is the only person who should touch the soundpost! Where I came from the soundpost commonly called the soul of the instrument and even the most beautiful instrument would sound off if its not in the right place, not to mention cracking the belly, they all cut in a slight angle to match the curve of the back and the top. I learned to appreciate my luthier when he got fed up with me and handed me a mini tiny tool he uses to thin down the wood, I did it for 3 minutes and couldn't move my arm for 3 days. Any issue with your bass see the Man.
  7. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc

    While all of the things that folks have told you about having a professional luthier do the job are true, you are also working on an old Kay. From my perspective, an old plywood bass like that is a great candidate for learning. Get a copy of Chuck Traeger's book and get practicing.

    It looks like you are on the other side of the state from me, but you are still reasonably local. The next time you are over this way, bring your bass and schedule a couple of hours shop time and we can go over everything I know about setting one and the tools used. I've said it a lot of times: Owning an old Kay is a lot like owning an old volkswagon ( I've owned many of both). They break down a lot, but they are also easy to work on. Learning the individual traits of each is part of the game and working on your own is one of the life skills that will go a long ways...

  8. William Hoffman

    William Hoffman Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2009
    Lodi, California

  9. + another 1.
  10. Have you ever rewired a car stereo upside down under the dashboard with your feet in the air? Gets a little poky and unless you have a very calm personality can get frustrating very quickly. Same for the soundpost - knock that baby over and she's a right little devil to get back in place withut the right tools (a couple of bbq prongs is a good start!).

    If you are going to have a crack at it yourself, try some tape around the f holes too, it helps reduce little chips as you poke around inside the belly of the beast.

    Personally I take my bass to a luthier for soundpost issues. My inner calm seems to decrease as I get older!


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